By Franz Hilzendegen, Public Safety Product Manager, ASC Technologies AG
Customer service is critical for any contact center, but emergency response organizations face an especially rigorous set of demands and expectations. With lives on the line and time of the essence, emergency response is all about speed and accuracy. Moreover, reliability and capability extends beyond the personnel to the software they depend upon to do their job. Anything less than 100 percent functionality can result in an egregious failure.
Stage One: Improving Response During an Incident
During an incident, operators may receive incomplete information or may be confused about fast-moving events. Communications recording features such as “Last Call Repeat” can play back a call while it is still in progress. Embedded search-and-replay applications help to determine what’s really going on.
Command-and-control environments depend upon secure recording of all voice and data by VoIP, trunked radio and SDS (short data services) as well as analog and digital telephony. Tools for communications analysis can provide a quick overview of the situation and fast access to all relevant information.
The TETRA network helps police, fire and ambulance units share resources and radio communications while maintaining security and access to organizational information in a true multi-tenancy environment. A recording solution must be flexible through compatibility with the latest version of TETRA while still permitting central management where different recording solutions among these first responders can be monitored and supervised.
Stage Two: Improving Response Through Reconstruction of Incidents
Reconstruction of incidents can improve quality of service and processes, shaving seconds off response rates and thus saving lives. Dispatchers and first responders can be debriefed while communications recording solutions may be used to provide a more dispassionate 360-degree view of the incident.
Time and ID stamps of caller interactions within hundredths of a second can ensure the data is tamper-proof while various recordings can be grouped together to provide a more complete reconstruction. Comprehensive tagging information via the TETRA network can assist with rapid search-and-retrieval and grouping of relevant interactions.
A sophisticated analysis of incidents can improve the efficiency of internal processes, and streamlining procedures in itself can lead to faster response rates. The ability to review the entire incident may also lead to improved coordination among disparate responders such as police, fire and ambulance units.
Availability of Emergency Response
Perhaps most important, communications recording solutions need a perfect track record of reliability. Flexible redundancy options for both hardware and software are a must. For hardware, these options include redundant hard disks and power supplies while software should utilize sophisticated internal monitoring. The entire system should be designed with a “zero-downtime” architecture. Audio and data may be stored on non-reactive recording servers and synchronized with a third independent system.
Emergency response rates can be improved in two separate stages: both during and subsequent to an incident. Communications recording plays an essential role in this dichotomy, improving both clarity during an incident and analysis during reconstruction. Regardless of the stage, sophisticated communications recording features can save lives.
Currently a product manager in ASC’s Public Safety division, Franz Hilzendegen has served with the company for more than 10 years and also offers a decade of professional experience as a TETRA integration developer. Personally, he supports public safety in his community as a volunteer fireman and paramedic.
ASC Technologies AG is a leading global provider of innovative solutions to record, analyze and evaluate multimedia-based communications. ASC’s solutions reveal vital information, enabling companies and organizations to considerably improve their value creation: contact centers enhance customer service, efficiently deploy staff and increase productivity. For more information, visit www.asc.de; call 917-475-9200; email firstname.lastname@example.org; or write ASC Americas L.P., 69 Charlton Street, New York, NY 10014.
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